Scottish media is reporting further details on charges of cronyism, discussed in a post from Monday, leveled against the Scottish First Minister after taxpayer money was given to the Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF) a new Scottish Islamic organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. According to one report:
The Scottish Government has given £215,000 to the Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF), a group run by Osama Saeed, an SNP member who is about to contest the Glasgow Central seat in the next Westminster election. Most of the cash will be spent on an “IslamFest” which is being organised by Saeed and will be held in Scotland next year. But another Muslim organisation which applied for funding last year for a similar event was turned down. Last night, Muslim leaders across Scotland – including a prominent member of the SNP – expressed anger at the funding, alleging SIF was receiving preferential treatment because of Saeed’s Nationalist links. Along with Saeed, the Foundation’s members also include SNP researcher Humza Yousaf and Gail Lythgoe, the national secretary of SNP Students. SIF will spend £200,000 on the IslamFest in Glasgow next year at which Muslims and non-Muslims can enjoy displays related to Islamic culture, religion and art. The group has also received £10,152 to spend on computer and office equipment for its central Glasgow headquarters, and £5,600 for administration and volunteer and management training. The funding has infuriated senior members of the Muslim community, including the general secretary of the Glasgow Islamic Centre, Scotland’s largest Muslim organisation. It said it asked Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the MSP for Glasgow Govan, for £132,851 last year to spend on activities aimed at keeping youngsters away from extremism, but “had heard nothing”. In another case, the Muslim Sufi community asked for up to £30,000 to help fund a Sufi festival in Glasgow. They were informed by a Scottish Government official in November last year that “all resources have been committed for the rest of the financial year”. Mohammed Ashraf, of Glasgow’s Sufi community, said: “It seems just one person is having support from the Scottish Executive, and for them to put that much faith into one group is not right.” He added: “The SNP is being one-sided. Osama is close to them and obviously they have decided to put their weight behind him.”
A previous post has discussed the background of the SIF and its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. It should also be noted that another Islamic festival held by the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood concluded last Monday.